Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lacy Crochet and Red Cinnamon Cake

Many of you out there know and love Olga
from her beautiful blog
her lovely Etsy Shop
From time to time I just have to crochet one of her creations.
Olga makes such exquisite items and her patterns are clearly and professionally written,
 aided by the loveliest pictures.
This is just the beginning of her
After crocheting to 50 inches you flip it to form a twist,
creating that ever popular Mobius effect.
I actually have at least twice as much finished now 
since I snapped this picture yesterday morning.
It's a very soothing piece to crochet and grows under your
hook and fingers as if it's magic.

But now...
Let's have a little Cake with our Lacy Crochet...

Red Cinnamon Cake

1 Cup Crisco
{Yes I know it's really bad don't live off it}
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla
1 Ounce Red Coloring

Cream first 5 ingredients together.

Sift together the following ingredients:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
{Yes I said a Tablespoon}

*Add Sifted ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with
  1 Cup of Buttermilk 
saving last portion of buttermilk back.
To last portion of buttermilk add:

1 Teaspoon Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
{this mixture will fizz}

Pour into entire batter and mix well for approximately 2 minutes.
Now here's where I start getting fussy about the whole process.
As far as I'm concerned
NO kitchen
{at least one that is Baked in}
can be properly ran without this wondrous thing called
Parchment Paper.
If you have trouble with cakes sticking,
and this particular recipe is prone to it,
your days of crying in your cake are 
Trust me on this.
If you've never used parchment paper and you love to bake...
Stop whatever you're doing and run to your nearest store and purchase some
and never, ever be without it again.
Once you've lined the bottom of you're pans with this heavenly stuff
you still need to Spray it with cooking spray ...
all over the parchment paper and up the sides of the pan.
Then we pour in all that lovely batter and...
weigh it.
Yes I said 
Weigh it
Make sure you come out with the exact same amount of batter in each pan.
This ensures both layers will bake evenly.

***Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.***

*This is the time it takes in my oven...
 but I recommend you check it after 20 minutes
and then again every 10 minutes until it's done.
See ... Perfectly even.

After 10 minutes of cooling in the pan
turn the cake layers out onto another cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
See how nicely that parchment paper peels off? 
Do be sure to peel it off slowly however, as the cake is still warm.
Now for the truly yummy part...
The Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Stick Unsalted Butter - softened to room temperature
1 - 8 Ounce Block of Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese -softened to room temperature
2 Pound Bag Confectioner's Sugar
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla
2 - 3 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream

Mix all ingredients till smooth and creamy.
Use more or less cream according to your preference on the consistency of your frosting.
{I tend to like my frosting a bit on the stiff side}
Use a dash of milk instead of cream if you prefer.
I realize there are a whole lot of recipes out there for Cream Cheese Frosting,
this is just how mine has developed over the years.

And I have to add here...
When it comes to this lovely thing called 
I am decidedly not
 "less is more"
kinda Girl.

When your cake is completely cooled do this first...
Smear a dab of frosting on the cake plate.
This will "glue" the cake in place to prevent slippage
 while you frost it and when you carry it about.
{Nobody wants their masterpiece sliding off into the floor!}.
And Voila'!
We have a Cake.
I sometimes use an Icing Comb
for the sides.
My Mother in law gave this to me many years ago
when I was newly married.
So now we're ready for a lovely bite...

*** Just a few more baking tips ***

Unless a recipe tells you not to sift the flour always sift the flour.
Use exact measurements - when cooking savory food we can fling things in willy nilly, 
not so with baking. 
Unless you want flat cakes, hard biscuits, runny cookies,
 cookies that could be used as weapons.... 
you get the picture.
Always use a timer.
If the recipe says to use butter don't use margarine 
{unless you wan't those runny cookies we already mentioned}.
Don't try to substitute to make things low fat/low sugar...
 just find a recipe that is already designed that way. 
Now don't get me wrong on this one -
There are a lot of us with health issues,
 Me included. 
I have 2 Rheumatoid Diseases and have to choose sparingly
when I decide to treat myself
as high fat and sugar flare me up!
I have been a Vegetarian and basically a clean eater for almost 20 years now...
but we all need an occasional treat.
And I'm talking about good 
old fashioned
full fat
baked goods
 And for those who genuinely cannot ever have such things
Thank God
there are a gazillion cookbooks out there
 with professionally tested recipes with substitutions.

I know a lot of you out there are fabulous bakers.
I also know that many people love to bake but can't figure out why
they continue to encounter the same issues over and over.

Here's my secret to baking success:
For one thing I come from a long line of natural born bakers.
My paternal grandmother
{she was Swedish}
was a truly phenomenal baker.
Growing up on a farm in Illinois,
she also settled on a farm as a new bride
where she raised her family.
When you entered her house and were enveloped by the 
divine smells of her baking
you thought maybe you were in heaven.
Then with the first bite
you knew you were in heaven.
I have yet to meet her equal in baking
{and a few other things, I'm sure}.
She definitely planted the seeds of interest in baking for me at a very
 young age.

The other thing is that I've had professional baking classes.
Years ago, along with my sister,
 I used to have a home based cake baking business.
Bridget is still in full swing and while her business has grown tremendously,
I have spent the last several years pursuing my true passion of 
Fiber Arts.
But I do still love to bake and hope you like my original cake recipe
and that you find some of my baking tips useful in your kitchen.




  1. Oh Danette, I love the colors you're using for your scarf. Even though I love knitting best, there are somethings that just call for beautiful crochet stitches. I much prefer crocheting lace than knitting it, and it's soooo fast.

    My goodness, the cake looks scrumptious. I've probably never baked an even cake, lol. I might just try now that you've explained how, though. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thank you! Yes I agree about the speed and beauty of CROCHETED lace versus knitted lace, although I do adore both. It all depends on my mood. Crochet was my first love but I usually do more knitting on the whole. Lately however, I am in crochet mode again...
      Of course I have something on the needles as well :-)
      Let me know how your next cake come out... If it rises to much in the baking process I'll tell you how to professionally "shave" it.
      You have a lovely weekend as well,

  2. Hi Danette,
    I can't wait to see how your scarf turns out. Beautiful color! It seems you are crocheting tighter than I did (my stitches were very loose), so you'll probably need more yarn than stated in the pattern.
    You cake looks so beautiful and delicious. Clever tip about spreading a bit of frosting on the plate. I didn't know it. And I should purchase an icing comb; it makes such a beautiful effect.

    1. I'm excited to see the scarf finished too! I'm using the same yarn you did in a different colorway. Oops! I went down in hook size because my first go was too loose. I'm actually a very loose crocheter and knitter. Did you block yours when finished?
      I'm glad you like the cake :-)
      Yes, get an icing comb... they're nice.

    2. I just lightly steam blocked what I have done so far and it comes out to an exact width of 17 inches so I think I'll be okay after all. Phew! I think it's just scrunched up in that photo for one thing. But, like I said, I did go down in hook size. You should have seen the size of MY holes on a J hook!
      I'm loosey goosey ;-)

  3. oh wow, that cake looks so delicious!! and I love cinnamon.... yum!


Thank you for taking time to chat with me ~
Your comments make me so Happy!
Have a lovely day.